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  1. #1
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    Default Raising Queens by the light of the silvery moon

    I tried to ask this question over on the other bulletin board and it quickly melted down to personal opinions about other stuff.

    So, is there any credible idea to raising queens during a waning moon phase (full to new moon) or a waxing moon phase (new moon to full)? Somewhere I read (source unavailable) that more swarms emerge during a waxing moon phase, which means the queen cells originated during the dark of the moon (full to new moon). Any thoughts?

    The gardening crowd believes one should plant under ground veggies during the waning phase and above ground veggies during the waxing phase. Didn't know if there was any correlation to queen rearing. I mostly raise queens when I can block out a time frame during the nectar flow.

    Grant
    Jackson
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Raising Queens by the light of the silvery moon

    I have not put much faith in the signs of the moon when gardening. But there is probably something to it, otherwise it would not exist.

    Nature has its cycles and rhythms. Some are governed by the moons pull on the earth. Most are controlled by the solar effects, length of day, etc.

    Man has observed cyclic rhythms for many centuries and have come up with periods of time to predict the patterns. Bees may have came up with one too. Give it a shot and see what happens.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Raising Queens by the light of the silvery moon

    I would think that if moon phases had a whole lot to do with the successes of gardening, growing, farming and beekeeping, those practices would have become part of common function centuries ago. But they are for some reason only practiced by a marginal few.

    A biodynamic landscape designer years ago made me wait for an exact day and time to sow wildflower seed. Certain areas were unavailable at that time to seed and were seeded without regard to the biodynamic calendar over the next few weeks. When they bloomed in spring all patches were similar with no advantage showing in the patch planted with exact timing.

    If you had to time every thing by the moon you would get very little done.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Raising Queens by the light of the silvery moon

    Grant,

    I recommend that you purchase the 2013 edition of this book: http://www.amazon.com/American-Biody.../dp/0863159184

    I read one a few years back b/c it was siting around the house. The entire book is 60-70 pages, beekeeping and queen rearing was only a very small segment when I read it....maybe 2007 or 8. If you are looking for moon phase beekeeping this is likely one of the few sources you might find. As I recall the lingo, Sun cycles are 21 days...queens and workers were "of the sun", drones were not. I think the movie, Queen of the Sun takes its name from this lingo. The calendars definitely provided dates for queen rearing. I found it interesting...but did not employ the information. The time windows for queen rearing were not really applicable to the typical, modern, queen rearing methods...as I recall the did not really repeat at a regular interval. GK

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Raising Queens by the light of the silvery moon

    When do bees stare at the moon?

  6. #6
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Raising Queens by the light of the silvery moon

    I begin queen rearing in early May and continue well into August. I've seen nothing that would lead me to believe that moon phases have anything to do with it. I catch queens every 4 days for 2 months, and make nucs with many of them. I see no difference in swarming rates from one group to another.

    Gardening is different, as moon phases do seem to have some effect on the weather...like frosts on full moon nights. I suppose that since moon phases effect weather in some way, the weather might effect queen rearing. Most likely effecting mating flights.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Raising Queens by the light of the silvery moon

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I would think that if moon phases ...those practices would have become part of common function centuries ago. But they are for some reason only practiced by a marginal few. ...If you had to time every thing by the moon you would get very little done.
    Very true. I used to garden a lot, and planted when the soil was dry enough to work. I didn't have time to wait. My grandfather used to plant corn when the oak leaves were as big as a squirrel's ear, which unbeknownst, may have had more to do with temperatures and threat of frost.

    I ran across the swarming observation in the process of revising an old manuscript, then wondered how it might relate to queen rearing. I also came across some comments on tanging, which in my reading, has nothing to do with settling a swarm. See the ABJ, June 2007, pages 515-517

    Sometimes folklore has some merit, sometimes our ancestors put two and two together and came up with five, but five worked! Thus these magical "rules of thumb" (fancy way of stating folklore) came about. I also invision a primative culture where superstition and pagan rituals carried forth into our day and age where we say, "But we've always done it that way before."

    Just wondering, trying to find every advantage possible.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Raising Queens by the light of the silvery moon

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Very true. I used to garden a lot, and planted when the soil was dry enough to work. I didn't have time to wait. My grandfather used to plant corn when the oak leaves were as big as a squirrel's ear, which unbeknownst, may have had more to do with temperatures and threat of frost.
    Folklore says that your frost free date is when oaks leaf out.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Raising Queens by the light of the silvery moon

    Moon phase logic is all about gravitational pull. The referenced book is probably between 10-15 dollars and is in its 50th year production. The primary author just passed away. Her son carries on, but the book constitutes 50+ years of working experience on the topic. As stated, it is an interesting read. Thank you MP for reinforcing the point that It does not fit modern queen rearing methods.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Raising Queens by the light of the silvery moon

    If only raising 1-4 batches of queens and trying to follow natural methods this book will yield some approach and some very specific grafting windows. To be honest, I am not sure that grafting was one of the options.

  11. #11
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    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
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    Default Re: Raising Queens by the light of the silvery moon

    I recently read about farmers turning there field during the full moon . Doing it at night instead of during the day is supposed to keep weed seeds from germinating. The thought was that rolling the soil during the day gives more seeds a glimps of the sun and that can be enought to start germination. Hey I just read it.

    I've never heard of a relationship between beekeeping, maybe full moon less clouds colder would have a slight effect on swarming
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Raising Queens by the light of the silvery moon

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    When do bees stare at the moon?
    When the lid gets knocked off in the middle of the night.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Raising Queens by the light of the silvery moon

    Here you go Grant,

    The Old Farmers Almanac Website, chock full of information. I usually get a few good recipes off of this, and I signed up for the newsletter email.

    http://www.almanac.com/

    Another almanac site.

    http://www.farmersalmanac.com/

    On the farm, we used it for all kinds of things growing up. When to breed animals, plant gardens, crops, and even for long range weather forecasts. Sometimes they are pretty accurate. Now days, with all of the electronic gadgets we have, a print version is kind of obsolete.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Raising Queens by the light of the silvery moon

    Thanks, jdmidwest!

    As for plowing under the moon, I've also heard that plowing snow under will increase corn yields. Logically, there is a trace of nitrogen in snow, but not enough to contribute. Still, those who have done it swear they had the best corn crop that year.

    Okay.

    Grant
    Jackson, mO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

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